posted April 3, 2020 8:02 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Hey all. So, is anyone else hungering enough for social interaction that a Brady Bunch-esque layout of little video windows of friends seems like a really good idea? Any MIJ (Mefites in Japan)* up for a meetup over Zoom?**
I've only recently started using Zoom, trying to get ready for if I'll need it for the upcoming (in theory) school year, and Gotanda and I were talking about maybe doing a zoom-based nomikai/meetup.

Update: Tonight (April 12th), 8:00 pm Tokyo time, over zoom. I’ll memail links to people, so if you didn’t get a link, send me a memail and I’ll send you an invite.

*Though, since this would be online, we could open this up to just about anyone, right?

**I just went with zoom because it's literally all I know at this point, though I have heard about all the fun security worries and invasiveness it brings along to the party. If anyone has any other ideas, I'm totally open.
posted by Ghidorah to Online (31 comments total)

Let's do this thing! Timing is pretty wide open, though I learned I have to go in the office on Monday for a f2f meeting. Going to try to get it moved from the very small let's all sit around the table office to a large meeting room so we can all spread out.

We'll have to send the invites out by memail (or direct emails if you got 'em) I think.
posted by Gotanda at 5:04 PM on April 3

We’ve got a meeting on Monday (to practice Zoom, funny enough), but scheduled middle of the day to keep us off rush hour trains, and set to be in the cafeteria so we’re all spread out. Other than Monday, though, I...

I don’t have plans until May 7th...

/sobbing in total isolation
posted by Ghidorah at 6:42 PM on April 3

I'm down!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:45 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Sounds good to me, although I went from "Huh, I've vaguely heard of this Zoom app" to "Let me read the Wikipedia entry" to "This sounds like COVID-19 for my computer" in about five minutes. While I'm no huge fan of Skype, it seems a lot less awful and apparently supports up to 50 people. I'm guessing there's something wrong with it, though, or people wouldn't all be using Zoom...
posted by Bugbread at 1:30 AM on April 4

...though I'm really hoping we talk about something other than COVID-19, because I get plenty of that every day already.
posted by Bugbread at 1:32 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Hey, Bugbread, as far as other software, Gotanda and I have been using zoom to try to get up to speed in case we need to use it for classes. I've seen the stuff about how awful it is, but honestly, I've heard a lot of the same issues about Skype in terms of privacy, so I'm not sure if we can find something better.

As far as other topics, Gotanda and I have been chatting for the last couple hours, and we did chat a bit about it, but for the most part, we've just been talking about random stuff.

One thing we're trying to figure out is how to do shared link stuff so we can watch stuff together, but as of yet, it's a bit beyond us.

(Short Pause)

So, we just kind of chatted about this a bit, and our thinking was to maybe just get a group together for at least one largely unstructured, unplanned kind of thing where we just chat, drink, whatever, and maybe in that session, start talking about things we could do in a later, possibly more structured get together. Something like playing games, trivia, whatever, but for the first one (hopefully of a couple or three, rather than something that we have to keep doing for months because everything continues to be terrible), just kind of a free flowing get together. Does that sound doable?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:49 AM on April 4

Thanks for the note Ghidorah. I may be able to join based on when it is scheduled and I have a full Zoom account from my school. (The free one is limited to 40 minutes.) Happy to schedule it once we agree on a time.
posted by gen at 2:55 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

That's awesome to hear, Gen! Gotanda and I both have the school email access as well, so we can do the no time limit chats. I think as long as the host has the unlimited time chat capability, others can join in without the time limit as well.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:57 AM on April 4

It all sounds good to me. Scheduling may be a wee bit more difficult for me than others, as I'm working from home + being my kids' juku replacement at night, so I'm mostly available on weekends, but don't delay on my account.
posted by Bugbread at 3:07 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Is Sunday night possible? I.e. tomorrow night? 4/5?
posted by gen at 6:20 AM on April 4

Hey Ghidorah, thanks for the heads up. I'm like Bugbread in that I don't have Zoom and don't really have a need to install it other than for this, so while I'll look into it on my end, please consider me a maybe and schedule around me. I really hope y'all are doing okay and that we'll be able to meet again in person when this passes, hopefully soon.
posted by misozaki at 5:55 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Gen, weirdly, I’m not sure I can do tonight, I want to try to get ready for my one scheduled dose of society tomorrow when I have to go to school. I want to try to be productive and map some stuff out for the month of no classes ahead, and go over that stuff with some of my co teachers tomorrow. If others can do it, I might try to stop in, but just for a bit.

Misozaki, I definitely understand the hesitance, though it seems like Zoom is actually trying to take peoples concerns to heart and is trying to rework things to work better/be more secure, though we’ll have to see.

Going along with those concerns, it seems it is worth taking some steps to make an Zoom meetings secure. The defaults for .edu accounts have been switched to having a waiting room where the host has to okay people trying to join the session. This article from Gizmodo is a little alarmist, but also makes me hesitant to post invite codes directly on this page. Maybe we send the invites via memail just to be safe? Does that sound overly paranoid? One downside to doing that would be we might miss out on people who might otherwise drop by casually, but maybe it’ll get people to take a bit more active part in getting the meetup off the ground? I honestly don’t have a great idea for any of this, and just wanted to bring it up to see what you all think.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:42 PM on April 4

Maybe we send the invites via memail just to be safe?

Good idea.

Does that sound overly paranoid?


Also, for me, tonight (Sunday) won't work, but sometime within the week or next weekend?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:49 PM on April 4

Sending invites by memail sounds perfectly fine to me. Unfortunately, tonight won't work for me either.
posted by Bugbread at 9:13 PM on April 4

Tonight doesn't work for me, but I'd be up for something sometime soon.
posted by Umami Dearest at 10:35 PM on April 4

Yeah, as long as it's in the evening or on a weekend, and I have a few days notice, I'll probably be good.
posted by Bugbread at 11:25 PM on April 4

Ok, I am fairly flexible. We need a way to schedule I think?
posted by gen at 2:13 AM on April 5

Just seeing this now so no for this Sunday. Next Sunday evening 12 April would be fine if that isn't too far off. Anybody else ever play the word spelling game "Ghost" on long car rides as a kid? Or, can we find some good trivia games to play. If the screensharing works a collaborative/argumentative round or two of this might be fun.
posted by Gotanda at 2:15 AM on April 5

Next Sunday works for me, too. I’m up for whatever, but honestly, I’m also okay with just catching up and seeing everyone again.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:28 AM on April 5

I'm WFH beginning either 4/8 or 4/16, depending on tomorrow's emergency declaration. High probability of it being 4/8 now, but put me down as a "maybe" as well! I'd also have to download the program.
posted by lesser weasel at 10:04 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]

How does 6 on Sunday feel? Late enough to have some beers, not so late that it’ll mess with work the next day?

Also, I’ve messaged some mefites that maybe didn’t see this, if anyone else if up for cat/mefite herding, if there’s anyone who hasn’t chimed in that you’d like to see, feel free to drop them a line and see if they know about this. The more the something somethingier I always say.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:16 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]

6PM Sunday works for me.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:06 AM on April 9

Of course, I suggested Sunday and now I may be offline for a bit. I'll try to join in late.

posted by Gotanda at 4:17 PM on April 10

damn... So, aside from Flapjax and I, anyone else in? I know there's still a bunch of mefites around Japan, I was kind of hoping we could get a decent sized group together, but so far, it looks like two attending and five maybes. If there's a better time or way to meet, I'm all ears.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:10 AM on April 11

Okay, I finally found my old webcam, got it set up, installed Zoom, etc. I won't be able to join from 6, 'cuz that's around dinner time with the family, but somewhere around 7'ish I can probably join.
posted by Bugbread at 7:15 PM on April 11

How 'bout we go from 7?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:25 PM on April 11

Seven works fine for me. I’ll set it up, and memail links to folks.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:50 PM on April 11

I've set up the meeting and sent invites through memail, though memail strips out HTML, so I guess just copy and paste the links. Anyone who didn't get one, but would like an invite, please memail and I'll send one to you.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:08 PM on April 11

Maybe Memail strips out HTML in preview, but the HTML came through as a link just fine for me.
posted by Bugbread at 1:00 AM on April 12

Good to hear. See you in a bit.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:18 AM on April 12

Thanks to everyone that was able to make it. It was good to see everyone, and if possible, we'd like to try to do it again next week, same time, and maybe make it a regularish kind of thing. Whoever's free can drop by for a bit, and just have a chat. Good times, and thanks again to the people who could make it.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:19 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]

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